SEGA is in a world of financial hurt at moment and it needs something, anything, to alleviate the situation. Phantasy Star Online 2 might be the remedy SEGA needs.
Over the course of last weekend, I sat down and dove into a world that enticed me when I was a lad. I honestly can’t stress how amazing Phantasy Star Online 2 is as there are vast improvements over the previous iterations. These stem from graphics to control to a revamped UI that’s easier to navigate (and that’s saying a lot, the menus were mostly in Japanese). Throughout the beta, I spent most of my time grinding and getting accustomed to the combat, while questing in the Forest. I didn’t experience much group content due to the language barrier, but the beta was still incredibly fun.
The character creation is miles ahead of Phantasy Star Online. You have your obvious options to choose from like your character’s race (Humans, CASTs, and Newmans), but there are more intricate details to adjust like the characters eyelashes, and limb length. I never ran into a character that looked like mine which is always a good thing. The classes make a triumphant return: You have Force for support players, Ranger for the trigger-happy crowd, and Hunter for those who like close-quarter combat.
I went with a Newman Ranger, but quickly abandoned the character when I realized I would be running solo for the entirety of the beta. My second character was a CAST Hunter, which was more suitable for solo gameplay. Combat is more responsive and doesn’t feel stiff like in the original PSO, it has a fluidity that reminded me of a beat em’ up game. With the added ability to jump, aerial attacks are now possible which led to some insane combos and even air-juggling.
The new skill tree also introduces a variety of abilities to each class meaning no two characters will play the same despite being the same class. This will probably lead to interesting team combinations, like more defensive Hunters that have the block ability teaming up with offensive Hunters. I found the quest structure and over world fairly familiar. The over world has the many different vendors we’re used to seeing. The language barrier hindered my ability to obtain and fully understand some quests at first, but the ones I did obtain were standard fetch quests. Note: For some reason the language pack translated some quests, but not others.
Sadly, I didn’t get to spend much time with the beta, but I enjoyed every second of it. SEGA,if you’re listening, please bring this to the US. It would be a mistake not to. Especially with the cross-platform play between PlayStation Vita, PC, iOS, and Android.
This is an opportunity SEGA can’t miss.